August 24th, 2017

Ὑπίαινε! (Hypíaine!) If you were living in ancient Greece between 6 BC and 9 AD you might have been greeted with this “Good Morning!” on the steps of the Temple of Athena Parthenos or as we now refer to it, “The Parthenon”.

We lost another icon of my youth this week. Jerry Lewis was very mercurial, ground breaking comedian, actor, director, producer, recording star and humanitarian. His amazing partnerships with Dean Martin, Hal Wallis and MDA set the stage for so many who followed. I believe that his very best work was in the original, Nutty Professor. Like so many greats, Jerry went over the top in everything he did. He even became one of the fastest draws in Hollywood when he and Dean started doing westerns. I think that his characters, Professor Kelp and Buddy Love, personified the constant conflict inside the man himself and made his performance as those characters so genuine that it was almost painful to watch. RIP funny man and thank you for the more than $2 billion dollars you raised doing 40 years of marathons for MDA!

This week I have been a door fixing fool!!! The lock on our front door decided it was no longer going to accept keys which is not considered an attribute for an entry way as much is it is for an item to be recycled. Also our sliding glass door has been slowly getting harder and harder to operate for some time. I have adjusted the rollers to compensate for their wear over the past 16 years until there was no adjustment left. With Jess’ help, I was able to replace the roller assemblies and we now have an easy to operate sliding door. Woohoo!!

We took our old Chewy dog to the vet for a grooming this week. Its amazing what shaving off 4 to 8 lbs. of brown and black rug will do for a boy’s looks! He is positively handsome in an elder statesman sort of way. We also started him on some magic meds to help with his “Roomatiz” and it seems to be perking his old self up a bit.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I learned some more CSS coding syntax. Its fun taking these online classes while my other classes are on hold till the Fall Semester starts. I am not sure how much I will get done once they start back up.
• I remember as a boy in school learning about something called, “Sun Spots”. This week we had the first total solar eclipse in the US in many years. I followed it on PBS. I listened to the eclipse live on KPBS radio and for a completely visual event it was even exciting on the radio. I enjoyed hearing the alternating hushes of awe and the cheers as the moon shadow took us all for a fun evening in the sky before lunch. Later in the evening, I watch NOVA and found out all of the amazing science stuff surrounding this event. But I have sad news… No one. Not once single scientist mentioned Sun Spots. Oh they were there but they aren’t all that interesting to the smart guys as they once were. Well, I still think Sun Spots rock!! Rock on Solar Dudes !!!
• I came up with a new recipe for Zucchini this week that I find interesting. Many of my recipes start from others and I just add my tweaks that think improve the original dish but this one I cannot blame on anyone else. For better or worse, depending upon your tastes and the availability of good ingredients, this one is all mine.

Website Update:
• Jessica found a great quote by Abraham Lincoln that I added to the site – “ We can complain about the thorns in the rose bushes or rejoice that our thorn bushes have roses.” It reminds me that every moment we have here on earth includes a choice of perspective. We decide to celebrate the roses in our thorn bushes or bemoan the thorns in our roses. While I was on that page, I cleaned it up to use buttons for the links to the quote pages themselves. I think it looks cool…check it out 🙂
• Last Week for you to take the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This week I also added the lyrics for “From Afar” from Vance Joy for your sing-a-long pleasure. Enjoy!
• I decided not to add an “Interesting Human” this week in favor of working more on a new painting, Artifacts and my CSS classes. Maybe next week, someone will inspire me to do another.
• I add a new “On the Side” recipe – Chorizo Zucchini..yum!

Writing and Painting Update:
• I finished the Swindle Painting for my sister. I have to get it framed and mailed. I also started another.
• I wrote another chapter for Artifacts this week.

• My brother Pat’s eldest boy is getting married to a lovely young woman in a few weeks. When Tippy finally got home from Florida, we talked about trying to attend the wedding and I think for the first time in my life, we just didn’t feel up to travel. As most of you know, Tippy and I have traveled together over most of the world. When we lived in Europe we would sometimes just load the dogs into the car and head off to another country for breakfast or lunch. So it was a little sad for us to decide to forego the opportunity to attend their wedding and visit Virginia again.
• This week we had a total eclipse over the US. The last time that happened was over 40 years ago and was much further north (remember, “You’re So Vain” ?). So in all probability, I experienced my very last total solar eclipse. Its an erie feeling, when you want the news and they are talking about the current viewing and mention the next time when you know you won’t be in the audience. Its likely, I will never get to see the next Hailey’s Comet either as it will pass within viewable range (must better than in 1985-86, I understand) in 2061. Kind of reminds me of that scene in A Christmas Carol, when the thieves are discussing Mr. Scrooge’s assets while he looks on helplessly. A very weird feeling!

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• The Rascals — Its a Beautiful Morning — This was one of those anthem songs when I was a younger man. It was released as a single in 1968 and appeared on their greatest hits album released later that year.
• Ambrosia — Holdin’ On to Yesterday — From the Vinyl !!! This one comes from their first album, “Ambrosia” and was a huge hit for them. These guys were so good. I love their tight sound and it didn’t hurt at all that Alan Parson’s worked his booth magic for them too.
• Vance Joy — From Afar — This one surprises you. It starts out as another sweet soulful ballad from this great songwriter but then it builds into this wonderful choral rep that gets under my skin pretty well. I hope you like it too. This is from his, “Dream Your Life Away” album.
• Eric Johnson — East Wes — Eric Johnson is just too good. When this lovely jazzing instrumental comes up on my music cycle I just close my eyes and let him take me away.
• Steely Dan — Pretzel Logic — From the Vinyl !!!! This is the title cut from probably one of the best records ever produced. I have always love this one. It reminds me of my friend George Gomez so much. It really doesn’t seem like that long ago, were were all loaded on a great Columbian, propped up by several Cuban Coffees, playing Backgammon in the Florida sunshine.
• Jefferson Airplane — White Rabbit — This another blast from the past- Remastered. This song builds and builds until you cascade over the edge like a wave cresting. I remember falling back into my chair watching them play this song at the Miami JaiLai Fronton
• Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band — Night Moves — This song makes me smile every time I hear it. I hope you can too.
• Matchbox Twenty — I Will — This one is a deep cut from their 2012 release, “North”. I have always love this band’s songwriting and playing.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: